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Fontana Arte (at the beginning of the collaboration)


Fontana Arte

Pietro Chiesa

For Gio Ponti crystal was the material for objects of great luxury. Luxury puts the designer's skills to no less of a test than the economic. In 1930 Gio Ponti designed for Fontana the large table with black crystal top and cut crystal legs that was presented at the 4th Triennial Exhibition in Monza. In 1931 Ponti began to design for Fontana a series of pieces of furniture topped with mirrors, exceptional furniture together with the first totally transparent ones made entirely of glass. In the spring of 1933 Ponti took over, along with Pietro Chiesa, the artistic direction of Fontana Arte, a branch of the Fontana firm. And the Fontana Arte output began to expand as had happened with Richard-Ginori, producing a multitude of large and small objects, from paperweights to lamps. At the same time he gave Fontana Arte the opportunity again as with Richard-Ginori to produce major works, such as the stained-glass walls he designed for the Faculty of Mathematics at Rome University, 1934, and for the Exhibition of the Catholic Press in the Vatican, 1936.